Frogs: The Thin Green Line

Notes from the Director

Poison dart frog

Almost a year ago NATURE asked me to make a film about the disappearance of amphibians.  I’d made a film on that very subject 15 years ago, so I was a bit reluctant… for about a nanosecond.  Then I realized I couldn’t say no.

The fact is, since making my prior film dozens of frog species have disappeared -– and the decline of amphibians has escalated into one of the greatest environmental crises of our time.  Scientists are calling it the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.  It’s HUGE!!!

The other reason I said yes is: I love frogs.

So, on a blustery day in April I began to piece together my stories… Since the crisis is global, that meant finding characters and frogs in spots as far away as Australia and South America, as well as right here in our own backyards.

The research was sobering.  Amphibians have survived for 360 million years and suddenly they’re vanishing…  I quickly learned that there isn’t any one culprit; frogs are getting hit from just about every direction: climate change, habitat loss, chemical run-off, introduced predators, over-collection, and deadly diseases… Basically, humans have stirred up a perfect storm for amphibians.

Over the next three days I’ll be posting more about my experiences with Frogs… Tomorrow: Panama (where we were faced the challenges of filming frogs in the middle of a wet jungle at night).  Hope you’ll come back…

- Allison Argo